New Model News

2021 Chevrolet Colorado gets a fierce mid-cycle refresh

Chevrolet has debuted a new face and rear for the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The fresh-faced 2021 Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck has been revealed.

For the casual observer, the Colorado's biggest change is up front where a new grille gives the truck a fiercer face with looks that fall into line with the latest Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD trucks, which have debuted anew on dealer lots in the last year.

On WT, LT, and Z71 models there are also updated center bars and new front skid plates. WT and LT models get the new Chevy bowtie logo while the Z71 wears a black bowtie badge.

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will officially be unveiled at SEMA later this month but we already know some details. The ZR2 will be the first Colorado model to sport the company's flow-through "Chevrolet" front fascia, and it gets unique standard red tow hooks. It will continue to be equipped with Multimatic DSSV position-sensitive dampers, standard front and rear electronic locking differentials, a two-inch suspension lift, a 3.5-inch wider track, off-road rocker protection, cast iron control arms, Autotrac transfer case, and multiple skid plates.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The ZR2 will be the first Colorado model to sport the company's flow-through "Chevrolet" front fascia.

The Colorado also gets a new available paint job – Sand Dune Metallic, on ZR1 and ZR2 models, and an embossed tailgate featuring the Chevrolet logo.

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado can be kitted out to tackle tough off-road terrain, is available in a number of special editions, and can come equipped with multiple appearance and equipment packages. It is expected that the 2021 model will follow suite.

The refreshed 2021 Chevrolet Colorado will go on sale in 2020. Pricing for the Wentzville, Missouri-built truck will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

A Houston repair shop had 15 vintage Corvettes worth as much as $1 million damaged in a Houston area explosion.

Photo by Getty Images

The owner of a Houston, Texas area vehicle restoration shop is saying that as many as 15 vintage Corvettes may have been lost when the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing facility exploded on Friday.

Gordon Andrus, the owner of Houston Corvette Service, told CNN that his business occupies four buildings across the street from Watson Grinding and Manufacturing at 4537 Steffani Lane in Houston

The shop is a self-described "full-service restoration and preservation workshop". The company's website shows a variety of projects that the company has worked on from a 1957 Corvette Fuel Roadster to a 1972 LS5 454 Red Chevelle.

Andrus says that two of the four buildings that house Houston Corvette Service have been destroyed. "The rest of street had very minor damage, but my two buildings are flattened," he told CNN.

He estimates the loss could be as much as $1 million worth of vehicles that were in progress at the time of the explosion.

In addition to the vehicles he was servicing for clients, a few of his own vehicles are trapped in the rubble. "Every car is insured, and we're in the business of repairing and restoring cars," he said. "We will make it right one way or another."

He has already notified all the owners whose vehicles were involved in the event.

An investigation into what caused the explosion is ongoing and could take months according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Nuro is eyeing Houston as a pathway to success.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

Editor's Note: There are currently no autonomous vehicles for sale in the U.S. Nuro, like Cruise, is marketing self-driving vehicles. Autonomous vehicles, as defined by SAE J3016, can go anywhere at any time whereas self-driving vehicles operate under limited conditions.

Houston — with its sprawl and winding roads broken up across various neighborhoods — is particularly challenging when it comes to self-driving car navigation. And that's exactly why Nuro, a California-based tech startup that's raised over $1 billion in funding, decided to focus on the Bayou City for its self-driving vehicle delivery pilot programs.

"Houston is our first full-scale operations city," Sola Lawal, product operations manager in Houston, tells InnovationMap. "All eyes at Nuro are focused on Houston."

Photo courtesy of Nuro

Last year alone, Nuro launched three pilots in six of Houston's ZIP codes from Bellaire to the Heights. The first of which was a partnership with Kroger in March, followed by the announcement of driverless pizza delivery from Domino's in June. Last month, Nuro announced its latest delivery partner was Walmart.

Lawal explains Houston's appeal to Nuro in a few ways, but the challenging landscape is key. Nuro cars are learning from the narrow, tree-laden streets of West University or the pedestrian-heavy, ditch-lined paths in the Heights.

"There's a ton for us to learn, but it's a great microcosm of the United States in a number of different ways," he says.

In addition to its diversity within its street types, Houston, named the most diverse city in the country, represents an ideal customer base, says Lawal, a Houston native himself. Houstonians are open minded about new experiences.

"If you think and look across Houston, the average commute is over 60 minutes for people to get back and forth," Lawal tells InnovationMap. "As we surveyed across major cities we were interested in, Houston stood out as a place where customers said they don't want go to the grocery store if they don't have to or get in their cars again to pick up their pizza."

The third reason Houston was a great market for Nuro is the amount of regulatory support the state of Texas has — Gov. Greg Abbott announced the launch of the Texas Connected and Autonomous Vehicle task force a year ago — as well as the support at the city level.

"It's been a welcoming environment from the mayor's office down for us to be here," Lawal says.

Since entering the Houston market, Nuro's local operations have grown to over 100 employees. The company still has software operations out of California, and some work being done in Arizona, but the Houston is the largest — and growing as the company seeks new partnerships with more stores with a goal of eliminating errands once and for all.

"The way that we think about this is that this new technology and our mission of accelerating robotics for everyday life, is we will bring the people what they want," Lawal says when asked about what types of stores Nuro is looking to partner with.

Eventually, Lawal says, the plan would be to have every errand be delivery optimized with Nuro technology — from big-box stores like Walmart to your local florist.

"Our goal is to have a platform that retailers can connect to in order to provide easy and inexpensive delivery," he says.

Currently, Nuro's technology is still in learning mode. Nuro's fleet of Prius cars with staff onboard are driving up and down Houston streets mapping and taking notes on a daily basis. The company also has bots, called the R2 fleet, that are designed to be unmanned.

These bots are smaller than normal cars and are completely electric. Rather than being designed to protect passengers inside like traditional automobiles, the R2s are designed to be safe for people outside the vehicle.

"It's a new way of thinking about transportation and what our vehicles can and should do," Lawal says.

2020 is the year of these R2 bots, and some areas can expect to see them in action — specifically focused on Domino's pizza delivery — in just a matter of weeks.

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This story originally appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site, InnovationMap.

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